Very cheap 55 gallon plastic barrels - MD : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Hi folks, for any of you who live in this area, I got a lead on some really cheap food-grade plastic 55 gallon drums from the Pepsi Cola Bottling plant in Baltimore. Here's how:

Call the Pepsi Bottling plant at (410) 554-7785. Ask for Charles Dickerson. He'll tell you if they have any barrels at the moment. When I went they had hundreds of them, so calling him is more of a courtesy so he'll know when to expect you.

The plant's address is 1650 UNION AVE, Baltimore, MD (click here for a map) Show up with a checkbook, they can't take cash. The Barrels are only $3 each! I got eleven of them, never know when you'll need one on the farm!

They are used for Pepsi syrup, (some folks might classify that as a toxic waste!) and so are relatively safe for rainwater cachement and other storage if they are rinsed out well.


-- Chuck (, January 14, 2002


I sure wish we lived closer to take advantage of that price. One use we have for those barrels (paid $10 each) - I cut them in half using a skill saw. I then have two stock watering tanks. They are light weight when empty; sturdy and hold up against the weather. Of course, here in the Pacific Northwest we don't have hard winter, but we do get a few inches of ice on the water and it doesn't hurt a bit. We have the plastic automatic water shutoffs in each tank(screwed to the side) and a hose connected. Very low maintenence. I have envisioned saving rainwater by standing the barrels side by side and inserting a short piece of plastic pipe near the bottom of each barrel(one piece of pipe connecting two barrels. If a gutter drained into the first barrel, it would fill all of them equally. Just a thought - seems I never take the time to get it done.

-- Dianne Wood (, January 14, 2002.

Diane, Many bottling plants do the same thing. Check your yellow pages for a bottling company. Biggest problem with the pepsi and similar used barrels is its hard to get out the smell. I have a several 5 year old barrels that hand orange drink in them. After steam cleaning, bleaching and hours in the in sun. The water in them still has a orange flavor.

-- Gary (, January 14, 2002.

Orange flavor - better than molasses, although the animals seem to take to it. I did the same thing, cut one in half for water troughs. I think they drink more, which is good too.

Pepsi and Coke have bottling plants all over the US, you just have to look in the book. Breweries, restaurant suppliers, even food manufacturers have 'em.

Mine were $1.00 per and I bought 50 of them. Can never have enough of a good thing.

-- HarleyinFL (, January 14, 2002.

I saw a handicap garden with everything planted in those barrels so the man could garden from his wheel chair. It was really neat. Cut in half there just the right hight for a wheel chair garden.

-- Teresa (, January 15, 2002.

Might be careful about long term storage in plastic. By it's very nature plastic absorbs odors and impurities from the surrounding air. Especially with temperature changes. What good ideas though from all of you clever people, i.e. stock tanks, gardening etc. Fun and you give us some good info Chuck, Thanks! LQ

-- Little Quacker (, January 15, 2002.

To Gary... be glad yours taste like orange soda. Ours had jalapenos in them before we got them. Even blasting with hot soapy water at the carwash wouldn't get rid of that taste. So... we quit using them for water and turned them into all sorts of useful homestead storage and feeder units.

They aren't as cheap here, Chuck, but still a bargain at $7 apiece! Only problem is that they are blue (which I personally find attractive), but which our local drug enforcement agents seem to consider a tip-off to a meth lab! I think they are finally convinced that we're harmless, though. We haven't had any close helicopter fly- overs for a couple of years now.

-- Deborah Stephenson (, January 16, 2002.

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